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- Patient Comments: Blepharitis - Causes
- Patient Comments: Blepharitis - Signs and Symptoms
- Patient Comments: Blepharitis - Treatment
- Patient Comments: Blepharitis - Prognosis
- Find a local Eye Doctor in your town
- Blepharitis facts
- What is blepharitis?
- What causes blepharitis?
- What blepharitis symptoms and signs?
- How do health care professionals diagnose blepharitis?
- What are complications of blepharitis?
- What types of health care professionals treat blepharitis?
- What are medical treatment options for blepharitis? Are there home remedies for blepharitis?
- What is the prognosis for blepharitis?
- Is it possible to prevent blepharitis?
Quick GuideCommon Eye Problems and Infections
How do health care professionals diagnose blepharitis?
Blepharitis can be usually diagnosed by a physician based on the history as given by the patient and the physical examination. Taking a history includes a thorough discussion of symptoms that the patient is experiencing and a review of any general health problems that may be contributing to the eye problem.
The physical examination concentrates on an evaluation of the eyelids, lid margins, base of the lashes, oil gland openings, tear quantity and quality, and the front surface of the eyeball using a slit lamp, which allows a magnified view with sufficient illumination. The type of blepharitis is determined based on this examination and appropriate treatment recommended. Occasionally, cultures are taken by swabbing the discharge and sending this to the laboratory. In some cases, an allergy evaluation may be required.
What are complications of blepharitis?
It is unusual for blepharitis to cause serious medical problems. However, blepharitis can lead to a number of other health conditions.
- Sty: A sty (sometimes spelled stye) or hordeolum is a bacterial infection in one of the oil glands whose opening is clogged. The result is a painful lump on the edge or inside of the eyelid.
- Chalazion: A chalazion or conjunctival granuloma occurs when blockage in one or more of the oil glands causes it/them to become enlarged and scarred.
- Chronic pinkeye: Blepharitis can lead to recurrent bouts of pinkeye (conjunctivitis).
- Ulceration of the cornea: Constant irritation from inflamed eyelids or misdirected eyelashes may cause a sore (ulcer) to develop on the cornea.
Blepharitis does not affect vision generally, although disturbances of the tear film may intermittently blur vision, causing varying amounts of fluctuating vision during the day.
Call the ophthalmologist if these symptoms develop, which are not due to blepharitis:
- Significant changes in vision
- A sore on the eyelid that persists or increases in size, especially if it is red, bleeding, and not healing
- Significant pain in either or both eyes
- Symptoms that become worse or last for longer than two weeks